PREVIEW: Transformation, Aesthetics, & Beauty: Translating Chinese Poetry

Did you know that Literati has “Local Learning” workshops? I did not. Last week they had a drawing workshop on the human form. This week they have one on Nonviolent-Compassionate-Communication skill building.

Next week, on the 28th, they have one on translating Chinese Poetry. I am curious how the instructors plan to demonstrate the art of translation, as well as teach non-Mandarin speakers to translate a complex poem. I take Chinese, so I understand the succinct nature of Chinese characters and how each of them are saturated with history and meaning…

There will be two instructors at the event: Sarah Messer and Kidder Smith. Sarah Messer is the author of four books. She teaches Creative Writing at UM. Plus, (fun fact) she is a cheesemaker at White Lotus Farms; so you can expect to enjoy some cheese tasting at the translation event. Kidder Smith, on the other hand, taught Chinese history at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he also chaired the Asian Studies Program. He is currently leading translations on many Chinese texts, such as Sun Tzu—the Art of War, and Having Once Paused: Poems of Zen Master Ikkyu.

At the event, Messer and Smith will introduce Zen Master Ikkyu, an unconventional 14th century enlightened Zen Master who wrote poems in Classical Chinese, upended gender roles, and transformed the aesthetics of medieval Japan. They will also discuss how writing poetry and translating involves transformation, aesthetics, mindfulness, and beauty.

Event date: Monday, 1/28/19, 7pm

Location: Literati, 124 E. Washington St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Register Ahead of Time:

Cost: $25

Minna W

Minna believes in three things: Milk chocolate. Happiness. Narratives are the way to people’s hearts and impactful solutions.

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